Learning From Apple, Part 1: Tutorials & Tips

Whether you’re new to the Mac or have been using one for some time, there’s usually always something new you can learn about it to make your workflow, personal projects, or fun time a little easier or more enjoyable. To that end, Apple makes plenty of resources available on their web site.

In part 1 of this I’ll look at what Apple makes available in the form of product tutorials and tips. In part 2 I’ll look at Apple’s resource listings and free online seminars.

Tutorials

Apple has a wealth of tutorials to make use of. Each tutorial is typically anywhere from a couple minutes to five minutes in length (longer for Pro apps), and presented in easily manageable snippets. 

First of all, you should check out Apple’s Find Out How page. By default you’ll be at the Mac Basics page; unless you’re a brand new Mac user this may of limited value. However, along the top you’ll see other categories that you can click on to see tutorials relating to Photos, Movies, the Web, etc. This page could be a “one-stop” site to find useful tutorials.

MobileMe users should check out tutorials here.  

There are also tutorials for almost all of Apple’s individual applications. For starters, check out those for the iLife suite that comes on all Macs. I found the ones for iMovie ’08 especially helpful when that product was introduced. 

Apple doesn’t restrict the product tutorials to the iLife suite. Their productivity suite is included as well, so if you’re an iWork user like me you should visit its tutorials page

And Apple doesn’t stop at their two product suites, either. Their professional apps have great tutorials, too. As an Aperture user I found its page of tutorials broad and useful. 

In addition, while not strictly tutorials, the Aperture In Action page has videos of professionals using the product that can provide great ideas for how you want to utilize it in your own workflow. 

You’ll also find a tutorial page for Final Cut Studio (and Final Cut Server). Each program in the suite has tutorials on the page. Don’t let the comparatively small number fool you. These tutorials are a bit longer than others. As with Aperture, there’s also a Final Cut Studio in Action page with quite a few usage tips from the Pros. 

Similar treatment is given to Logic Studio, and there’s a Logic in Action page as well. 

Finally, note that some of the tutorial pages also list text tutorials. These are written, step-by-step, instructions for specific tasks. I would encourage anyone to review these for any software package used regularly. 

For any of the above products you own, you may discover things about them you didn’t already know. If you don’t own any of them, but are considering its purchase and want to know more about it, you can get a good feel for how it works just by watching the tutorials. 

Tips

Apple has two primary tips sites. The Business Quick Tips page contains video tips updated weekly. Each is perhaps 30 seconds long, and I’ve found many useful ones there. Note that off to the right of that page you can find Quick Tours, which are pseudo-tutorial videos you may find useful. 

The Pro Tips page is a listing of dozens of quick tips in text format. Click a tip that interests you and see how it’s done. 

If you were to watch all of Apple’s available video tutorials, you’d be busy for many hours. The tips would keep you busy a long time, too. The point is that there’s likely something here for any Mac user, and it’s freely available 24/7. It’s worth taking advantage of.

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